Aug. 30, 2016
PAUL JOHNSON PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES Aug. 30, 2016 Pre-Boston College
“I think that we had a really good fall camp. Preparation has gone well for Boston College. It’s a little bit of a guessing game as to what we are going to get with two new coordinators and a new quarterback and all the things that they have going for them but I know that with any Steve Addazio team, they’ll be hard-nosed and well-coached and physical. We are looking forward to have the chance to travel and go play. It has been a long time since we’ve played and we’re looking forward to have the chance to get back out there and see what we’ve accomplished during the offseason.”
How do you decide who goes in and on the substitution pattern during the game?
“Sometimes we script it before the game, other times it’s just kind of a feel. I’ll just put one in. In this game, we’ll kind of script a series or two and then if somebody’s hot, we’ll leave them in or that kind of thing.”
BC’s defense was No. 1 in the country last year, what do you anticipate from their defense this year?
“Well, they have eight starters back, so I’m sure they’re going to be very similar to what they were a year ago. Like anything, even though there’s a new coordinator, I’m sure he’s going to look at what they did successfully and add to his repertoire. They’ve got a lot of experience, the defensive coaches there, and Jim Reid has coached for a long time and so has Paul Pasqualoni, so they’ve both been around the block and you’re probably not going to give them anything they haven’t seen.”
Last season it seemed that you all had a hard time cutting off the linebackers. Have you worked on that this spring and how do you plan to fix that this year?
“I don’t think that we try to focus on any one person in general. We’re just going to try to do our stuff and see how they’re playing and then try to adjust and see what we need to do depending on how they are playing. I think that the one thing about fall camp is that we’ve got probably a larger package offensively then we would have for a normal game, so once we kind of digest how they’re playing, then we’ll stick to the part of the package that we think works best against what they’re doing.”
This is a different type of season opener with it being an ACC game and in Ireland. What to you anticipate for the game and the players?
“There’s a lot of variables involved in this game and the one thing working with 18-22 year olds is you never know what you’re going to get from week-to-week sometimes. So all we can do is put together a plan and an itinerary and a formula and go play and see what happens. You’d hope that they’re going to be mature enough and experienced enough to understand the importance of the game. We’ve talked a great deal about it but until you get over there and play, you just don’t know. There are a lot of distractions, so if you want to be distracted you can be easily distracted on this trip.”
You haven’t had many years like last year, so this year, do you and your staff change anything in fall camp or for this season?
“No, not really. You always look at the end of every year and you evaluate and you see what you’re doing. There’s a long track record there and I’ve been coaching a pretty good while so we’ve been fortunate that we’ve had a lot of success in a lot of different places. So until it becomes a pattern that we’ve strung together a couple (of disappointing seasons), I think you’d have to take a look but hopefully that won’t happen. Again, I think that every year, nobody is going to have higher expectations for the team than I am but you have to step back and look at it realistically sometimes too when it’s over and kind of see. To finish 3-9 last year surprised me but I wasn’t surprised at all that we we’re as good as everybody thought; I knew that in practice, I said it all along. I think this year is better but we’ve got to go play. We’ll see.”
With uncertainty with the A.D. and department, what do you do differently or can you do?
“It hasn’t changed hardly anything for me. I’m sure that (Georgia Tech President) Dr. (G.P. “Bud”) Peterson and the group that he has put together will try to find the best-qualified candidate that they can find, a guy that can come in and put in their vision for athletics. So I’m happy to be a part of it if they ask and if not, I’ve got a job to do myself. I feel reasonably sure they’ll higher somebody at some point. I’ve had the opportunity to work with (interim A.D.) Paul Griffin before. I respect him, I think that he’s a stand-up guy. If you’ve got a question, he’ll give you an answer. It doesn’t really affect us that much right now. We are going along just like we would regardless.”
What do you think is a greater incentive this week in the season opener for the players — an ACC game or that they went 3-9 last year?
“Everybody ticks differently. I don’t know. Certainly we’ve set team goals and they’ve set team goals for themselves. One of our goals is always to win the division and get to the ACC Championship game, so it’s an ACC game. It’s important in that right. We lost our last game a year ago and didn’t have a good season, so it’s a chance to get that taste out of your mouth and get back on the winning track too. Everybody is motivated differently. It’s like I’ve said before, there is no magic wand to motivate people and all the Knute Rockne speeches and all that stuff is so overblown it’s ridiculous. I was telling somebody the other day, one of the schools I coached at, we won 38-straight games at home and it was really unique in the fact that the locker room wasn’t a big locker room but there was a little coaches’ room right as you came in the door. We would come in and I’d go sit in that coaches’ room and at the time, I was probably chewing tobacco, and I sat down in that coaches’ room and (the players) were out there by themselves and you could hear a pin drop out there. The big games, maybe two or three a year, they would start singing hymns. I knew when they started singing that they were ready because they didn’t do that all the time. I’d leave the coaches’ locker room, I’d open the door and I’d say `Let’s go.’ We won 38 games in a row. So there were no Knute Rockne speeches. I think all that’s overblown. Kids know how to get themselves ready and if you’re good enough, you’re going to win and if you’re not good enough, you won’t. That’s the bottom line. We could bring one of the high school teams in here and give them the best pep talk ever and trot them out there against us and they’d get killed. It’s just kind of the way it works.”